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Old 02-05-2012, 20:35   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hblask

That's where this seems like a chicken and egg problem to me... you can't get tons of experience without a boat, and you can't justify a boat unless you know you love it. The only alternative seems to be charters and hanging around yacht clubs making friends and being willing to help out. Not that I have a problem with the latter.....
Not really a problem, just start small. We bought a Catalina 30 to start, and even though I'm gonna lose my #%] when I sell it, I learned a lot from it. I rewired, replumbed, and repowered it. I figure total cost to buy, own, and refurbish minus a conservative selling price is around $25 grand over three years. That's a couple of charters, but I learned so much more.

Also, if you like SB so much, call up Ian at the Santa Barbara Sailing Center and set up some ASA classes. They'll let you stay on the boat, saves a hotel room. They have several boats you can charter for island trips. No cats though.

And not to denigrate, but I can't imagine sailing a Hobie Cat for any length of time and not dumping it. Putting that thing over was our stock in trade. The real trick was to jump back on after righting it before it could sail away from you...

Good times... Good times...

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Old 02-05-2012, 20:43   #32
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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And not to denigrate, but I can't imagine sailing a Hobie Cat for any length of time and not dumping it. Putting that thing over was our stock in trade. The real trick was to jump back on after righting it before it could sail away from you...

Good times... Good times...

JRM
Yeah, I've wanted to try to see how close I could get to that. The main reason I haven't is we almost always have little kids with us, I don't really feel like dumping them in the lake unexpectedly. I want them to like it. But if I ever got out with my older son sometime during the 3 weeks when the lakes aren't freezing here and there was a good wind that day, I might try it.

I don't think ours would sail away, I think it would immediately turn into the wind and stop, at least within 50 yards or so. Of course, that assumes we set it up facing in that general direction and didn't get turned around so it heads downwind.
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Old 02-05-2012, 21:11   #33
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Yeah, I've wanted to try to see how close I could get to that. The main reason I haven't is we almost always have little kids with us, I don't really feel like dumping them in the lake unexpectedly. I want them to like it. But if I ever got out with my older son sometime during the 3 weeks when the lakes aren't freezing here and there was a good wind that day, I might try it.

I don't think ours would sail away, I think it would immediately turn into the wind and stop, at least within 50 yards or so. Of course, that assumes we set it up facing in that general direction and didn't get turned around so it heads downwind.
Yeah, my little sister got dumped at about age six and hasn't been sailing since. She has other water issues though...

We would always swim it around so that the mast was pointed upwind. That way, when you rocked it back and got the sail out of the water a bit the wind would help you right it. Worked great. It also put the boat on a beam reach, and they do accelerate quite nicely... Sometimes if the wind was howling it would go over the other way. Did that once when a "concerned" ski boat loaded with girls (I was still in High School then) came over to see if we needed help. The dad was sitting on the transom, mom was driving, and the girls were sitting here and there. Boat lifted, came up, and then went back over with the mast headed in the general direction of the ski boat. Mom panicked and gunned the throttle, throwing dad in the water and one of the girls face first into the windshield. Heh, he swam over to us and we used his extra weight to right us. Oddly enough, his wife wasn't really interested in getting close enough to us to pick him up, so he just jumped back off and tread water till we were off a ways.

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Old 02-05-2012, 21:12   #34
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Welcome to CF, hblask... you've got heaps of time but don't let it get away on you. When we were cruising in Mexico quite a few years ago, ran in to a young couple in their mid thirties from the Bay area. They had a really sweet Peterson 44 sloop in beautiful shape. Had them over for sundowners one evening and I asked how they could afford such a beautiful cruising platform. They told us they both worked at .com companies and were making great $ but felt that they really wanted to go cruising so they sold their condo, their cars and basically all their possessions that wouldn't fit aboard along with cashing out their stock options and sunk everything in to he boat. He would return stateside once every 3-4 month to do project work to finance their cruising lifestyle... name of their boat was 'Dessert First'. 'nuff said... Capt Phil
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:57   #35
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Welcome to CF, hblask... you've got heaps of time but don't let it get away on you. When we were cruising in Mexico quite a few years ago, ran in to a young couple in their mid thirties from the Bay area. They had a really sweet Peterson 44 sloop in beautiful shape. Had them over for sundowners one evening and I asked how they could afford such a beautiful cruising platform. They told us they both worked at .com companies and were making great $ but felt that they really wanted to go cruising so they sold their condo, their cars and basically all their possessions that wouldn't fit aboard along with cashing out their stock options and sunk everything in to he boat. He would return stateside once every 3-4 month to do project work to finance their cruising lifestyle... name of their boat was 'Dessert First'. 'nuff said... Capt Phil
I've always thought this would be the ultimate lifestyle: work part of the year and have adventures the rest of the time. Nice work if you can get it, but you have to be pretty valuable to convince people to hire you back on your whim. About 15 years ago I was probably good enough for that, and I hope to be again in the next couple of years, so maybe my dream will be reachable sooner than I expect.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:13   #36
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Originally Posted by hblask View Post
...I don't think ours would sail away, I think it would immediately turn into the wind and stop, at least within 50 yards or so. Of course, that assumes we set it up facing in that general direction and didn't get turned around so it heads downwind.
Trust me, there's a better than 50/50 chance it'll sail away unless you get on board. You'll need to slack all sheets to dump water out of the sails before you can right the boat. When the mast comes up, she'll jibe, and away she goes! With the tiller trailing in the water, the tendency is to continue sailing downwind.

I sailed a Hobie 16 for 28 years. It was a great way to learn to sail.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:14   #37
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Wow. Change the locations and the ages and this is my story…. Im sure that’s the same with a lot of people here!

Im also a long term lurker who decided to start moving in the direction of making this happen. My wife and I are 40 and shooting for retirement in 13 years. That number is a good balance between financial independence and getting our youngest out of college. At retirement we believe we’ll be able to fork over about $200k for a nice(ish) catamaran (Gemini, PDQ, Lagoon?) a nice(ish) condo close to a slip and a steady monthly income of north of 5k.

Literally the FIRST question my wife asked was about our ability to sail at 53, 63 and later so this is good reading for both of us. Not having sailed a day in my life and living in a land locked St Louis is somewhat of a barrier but both of us know we want this and are good on the water,,, so long as its TROPICAL water. ;-) Lots of trips in the Caribbean and an overwhelming urge to return for more than a week or two a year. Perhaps even after several years of experience a trip through the canal and in to south pacific waters.

So with a good decade of lead time we’ve started reading, researching and watching anything we can get our hands on. We’ve thought about doing a charter but with a crew and 2 children I could just about buy a mono hull and a helicopter to fly us to the nearest lake everyday. (heh heh) Any ideas for those of us not blessed with shoreline? Maybe someone in these forums in Florida that can sell their time and wisdom on a boat for our next trip down south?

Just writing this post makes me happy…. Hi my name is Mike and I’m a (future) cruisaholic.
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Old 03-05-2012, 13:00   #38
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Wow. Change the locations and the ages and this is my story…. Im sure that’s the same with a lot of people here!
Hi - yet another noob (couple) here... Andy & Vanessa, also aiming to get out of the river valley into tropical waters! Thanks to the OP and everyone else who have weighed in, it's helping me refine our 'plan'.

We've recently been bitten by the catamaran bug; in our case, while vacationing in the Caribbean and spending some time 45' Leopard. We're both 48, our best case for semi-retirement is at least 5 and as much as 15 years out. (The worst case just doesn't bear thinking about...!) We're fortunate enough to have all but one of the kids out of the nest and some funds set aside... so we're starting to get serious about both learning to sail (I'm a power boat guy, learned growing up in and around Ocean City, MD, but have been landlocked and boat-less for a couple decades now) as well as learning the marketplace and costs of owning a cat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I don't know how the cost would balance. But the thing about owning your own boat is that you will learn a lot more about the sailing/cruising life than if you are just renting. As I've learned (the hard way), sailing is the easiest part of it all.
That was our thinking as well. We are aiming to find as much boat as we can afford and put it in a charter program - ideally captained charters to avoid the horror stories we've heard about wear-and-tear from bareboat charters. Apart from the down payment and after a bit of a tax break, if all goes as planned we're expecting our annual expenses over the next few years to roughly equate to what we would have laid out for a couple of week-long charters, after factoring in charter income (minus boat loan, maintenance, insurance, docking, etc.) I/we can reasonably take about 2-3 weeks a year to sail between now and whenever we can say adios to corporate life.

Any feedback welcomed... I know there are several other threads about putting boats in charter; but with regard to getting in there sooner rather than later, this is our strategy to start sooner.
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Old 03-05-2012, 21:59   #39
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Yep - the wife and I are 38 and in the same situation, except we live in Alaska but enjoy sailing in the tropics. We could buy a decent catamaran and leave in 2-4 years. This option allows us to sail for a couple years but then return to the work place. If we wait 7-10 then we do not have to come back, except on our own terms. Still weighing the options.

We looked into the charter option. After crunching the numbers and talking with cat owners who own boats in charter, the charter option only works in a couple scenarios. 1) The goal is to purchase and sail a more expensive boat than you could otherwise afford. 2) Purchase a boat a few years old and place into charter with smaller outfit. This option greatly reduces initial depreciation, but potential offset by higher maintenance cost. Option only good if you know the exact type of boat and sailing location desired. 3) Purchase a boat that requires refitting. Let the boat get a little beat up during charter but use the proceeds to refit the boat for your cruising goals.

Since we are not sailing away for a few years our plan is to charter a couple times per year, inproving our sailing skills while enjoying vacations. Maybe in time one of the above scenarios makes sense, or we just save and buy our desired boat. $5k for charter is minimal compared to boat maintenance.

Name is Mark
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:22   #40
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Update: I know some people wonder what happens to all the dreamers who make posts like my first one here, so here it goes:

After a few financial issues got settled, next week, we start getting some certificates and on-the-water experience in bigger boats. We are taking the first two ASA classes (I can look up the numbers if anyone cares, I can't remember them now) on a lake here in the Minneapolis area. Then in August, we're doing #3 on Lake Superior. Then in December, it's an advanced class + cat class in the Tampa/St Pete area. So we should have a good base to begin the *real* learning, and also know if we really like this enough to do it full time. The classes in December are 5 days/nights of continuous live-aboard sailing/learning.

All my life I had planned on retiring in my 60s, so all my money was locked until 59 1/2 at the earliest. Now, due to some changes in life, I may be able to use the early access rules for my 401K as early as January (more likely June).

That would mean the only thing keeping me from doing this is courage, and I'd really hate for that to stand in the way.

Due to health care and overall costs, we'll probably have to go to another country. Right now we are considering Mexico. We have friends who have moved there and love it, and if we pick the east coast we can do all Caribbean Islands if Mexico gets boring (not to mention the gulf coast of the US).

It looks like this could be a 2-5 year adventure, then my wife may get a job offer in CA that she couldn't turn down, and we'd probably have to become weekend sailors for some number of years. We'd have to home/boat school the kids and keep them up with their US peers since they may have to go back to the system eventually.

We are looking at a budget for a boat that would hopefully be under $150K, preferably much closer to $100K. But we both like cats, and even though I think a Gemini would be more-than-adequate for our family of 4, I'd prefer 2 engines in a cat, which really limits our choices in that price range. Considering all that, we may decide, after all, that a monohull will have to do (hardly the worst thing that can happen to a person ).

OK, enough train-of-thought for now, we're just getting very excited that this could be real in a year, much faster than we had previously even dreamed!
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:39   #41
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Congrats on Kicking over the first of several steps to actually do it! My wife and I started in Lake Minnetonka - ASA 101 back in 2000! Later we did 2 more ASA classes in San Diego. You have a great start! 100K for a cat isn't realistic. You do need to make the money work and that means you have to look for the best possible boat in the best condition you can afford and forget about expectations! Best advice I can offer!

Learn to look at boats the hard way - walk docks! You don't know how to do that yet and so you just need to do it, do homework, take notes, talk about it between each other and find out what is for sale that you can afford. You can't buy what isn't for sale! Sorry, but what you like today has no basis in what you know how to sail. You'll get there! You just need to walk the docks and do more homework before you spend money. It takes longer and you won't end up broke in a far away place that could care less about you.
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:49   #42
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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After a few financial issues got settled, next week, we start getting some certificates and on-the-water experience in bigger boats. We are taking the first two ASA classes - that's how I started myplan

So we should have a good base to begin the *real* learning, and also know if we really like this enough to do it full time. - knowing that you like sailing well enough to "do it" is kind of something to find. But sometimes all you can hope for is that you don't hate it enough to not look at the real goal.

All my life I had planned on retiring in my 60s, so all my money was locked until 59 1/2 at the earliest. Now, due to some changes in life, I may be able to use the early access rules for my 401K as early as January (more likely June). if you stop working and leave your job there's a 55 rule for no penalty

Due to health care and overall costs, we'll probably have to go to another country. When I started my plan I assumed due to health care costs I would have tio get out of the US. But with the ACA there that may not be true. It also factors greatly into your 401K. Do a site search for ACA

We are looking at a budget for a boat that would hopefully be under $150K, preferably much closer to $100K. odds are that a $100K BOAT WOULD BE CLOSE TO $150K IF IT NEEDS FITOUT FOR COMFORTABLE LIVING ABOARD ETCBut we both like cats, and even though I think a Gemini would be more-than-adequate for our family of 4, I'd prefer 2 engines in a cat, DEfinitely not something to get all worried over. If you want a cat get a cat, but don't use things like 2 engines to be the deciding reason.
I'll be on year 10 of my plan next year and am on track to do it. Remember than really sailing is easy and you can learn it just as well doing coastal cruising as doing day sails! Other than that the thing to get over is the things that go wrong and they don't care where you are when they happen, and after a while they don't seem so big and you laugh a little at how you over reacted to them. So it might as well be "out there".

So go for it and happy sailing!
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:53   #43
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

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Congrats on Kicking over the first of several steps to actually do it! My wife and I started in Lake Minnetonka - ASA 101 back in 2000! Later we did 2 more ASA classes in San Diego. You have a great start! 100K for a cat isn't realistic. You do need to make the money work and that means you have to look for the best possible boat in the best condition you can afford and forget about expectations! Best advice I can offer!

Learn to look at boats the hard way - walk docks! You don't know how to do that yet and so you just need to do it, do homework, take notes, talk about it between each other and find out what is for sale that you can afford. You can't buy what isn't for sale! Sorry, but what you like today has no basis in what you know how to sail. You'll get there! You just need to walk the docks and do more homework before you spend money. It takes longer and you won't end up broke in a far away place that could care less about you.

Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, I'm not seeing a cat in the 100K range, but something like this looks like it would work:

1991 PDQ Capella Classic Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Now, that's 30% more than 100K, but it is likely we will be able to do that. But from my browsing, it appears there are monohulls in the $100K-$120K range that we would work for us. We just like the light and windows plus little-to-no heeling on cats, not to mention the smaller draft. When we get a little closer we'll try to go on as many boats as possible. We are trying not to limit ourselves to anything, but have a general idea of what we like and don't like.
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Old 22-06-2015, 14:59   #44
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Sorry, not really for off shore or even far from home. You really need to be looking sloop for 100K and expect to add more to make it ready. It's part of the realization of what you really need and how to make it work.
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Old 22-06-2015, 15:57   #45
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Re: Noob question / Ten year plan?

Myself, I would looks for a sloop in the $40-$50K range. Actually I would aim towards the $30k side. Lots of them out there and craigslist is your friend there. Set aside $20k for repairs/upgrades and use the other $30K to live for a year or 2.

The important bits is sound hull, good rigging and solid engine. Electrics, electronics and plumbing, really don't matter as that's easy to fix as you go along.

Go and go now. It will change your life.
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